Deborah Curtis



Deborah Curtis, former CIA Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Investigations, is a partner in Arnold & Porter’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice. Her experience spans a wide range of senior level positions in the federal government involving sensitive intelligence, law enforcement and policy issues.

At CIA, Deborah oversaw the Agency’s response to litigation, congressional investigations, critical incidents and criminal matters. In this role, Deborah advised the CIA’s Director and Deputy Director, the Office of Congressional Affairs, the Counterintelligence Mission Center and the Office of Security. She also handled several major national security policy initiatives including representing CIA interests during the U.S.-EU negotiations to reach a transatlantic data privacy agreement and the provision of U.S. information in support of Russian war crimes prosecutions before the International Criminal Court.

Prior to joining CIA, Deborah was the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security at the Commerce Department, the senior-most legal official on all licensing and enforcement decisions involving the Entity List, Military End-User List, Denied Persons List, Unverified List and other issues arising under the Export Administration Regulations. During her time at Commerce, Deborah also co-drafted the Huawei Foreign Direct Product Rule and advised on the CFIUS-adjacent process prohibiting certain foreign transactions that could impact the U.S. Information and Communications Technology and Services supply chain.

Deborah previously served for more than a decade at the Department of Justice, including at the National Security Division’s Counterespionage Section. At Main Justice, she oversaw Espionage Act cases and criminal export control and sanctions investigations and prosecutions nationwide. Deborah was also a Deputy Chief for National Security at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where she investigated, prosecuted and supervised cases involving espionage, illegal foreign agents, state-sponsored malicious cyber intrusions and matters involving the ITAR, FCPA and theft of trade secrets.

Finally, as an Associate General Counsel for National Security and Military Affairs at the Pentagon, Deborah provided legal guidance on Air Force Special Access Programs involving air and space system projects, the issuance of national interest determinations, commercial facilities physical security breaches and counterintelligence “insider threat” probes.